Earlier this week, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved moving the college men’s 3-point line back to the international basketball distance of 22 feet, 1.75 inches. The longer line was used in the 2018 and 2019 NIT on an experimental basis.
The last time the line moved to an extended distance was before the 2008-2009 season. That year it moved from 19 feet, 9 inches to 20 feet, 9 inches. The overall 3-point shooting percentage declined from 35.2% to 34.4% when compared to the previous season. Teams in the 2019 NIT shot 33% from 3-point range from the new distance of 22 feet, 1.75 inches compared to their regular season average of 35.2%.
Naturally, fans immediately began to dissect how a longer 3-point shot might impact Virginia, the reigning National Champions, too. UVA ranked third nationally in 3-point shooting defense last season as opponents made just 28.9% of their shots from downtown. Considering that the previous change and the NIT experimental games showed an initial decrease in 3-point shooting percentages, it seems likely that opponents may have an even tougher time converting 3’s against the Hoos as one of the nation’s better defensive teams. With that said, open shots typically get made at a higher rate than defended shots and the Cavaliers’ lose a lot of experience off the roster this particular offseason so there could be a bit of a tradeoff there.
It’s time for Fan Friday. Let’s go!
Thread Of The Week
Message board poster DougC started a thread on the football board on Thursday that led to some discussion. The initial post: “This is the year VT goes down. They may have an improved team but [Bryce] Perkins and our D will lead us to the promise land!!”
That led to a some interesting replies and conversation. The_Superhoo posted: “Have thought this many times before. It ain’t happened yet. The team has made strides, but I won’t believe they can beat Tech until it’s already happened.”
Kent Hoo Fan had a similar thought: “Please. I will believe it when I see it. I remember this board during so many eras:
Groh: Early to mid 2000s- with Groh’s highly ranked recruiting classes it is just a matter of time before we overtake the Hokies! They are scared! …….Beat them once during the Groh era.
London: Look at the way he is recruiting the 757! Taking away all those guys that Tech used to get! It’s just a matter of time before we overtake them! They are scared….that’s why they are accusing us of cheating in recruiting!…….Never beat them under London.
Now, with Coach Mendenhall: We totally gave the game away last year! With what we have returning this year we finally do it! Like I said, believe it when I see it.
(As a caveat….the men’s basketball national championship takes so much of my angst about the streak away!)”
Some countered that line of thinking. Poster hoodeyo noted: “That seems more like unrealistic expectations on your part. As hooman#1 says below, they’ve really been a flat out better program the vast majority of the time. Last year was one of the few they weren’t and they still won, but for the most part it’s been decided before it was even played. What happened during the Groh/London and Beamer eras isn’t particularly relevant outside of fandom.” That built on this post from hooman#1: “From 2004 to 2018 we had 2, MAYBE 3 teams that were better than theirs. Yes you’d think we would have slipped into a W over that period of time but VT has been the better team 12 or more times over the last 15 years. We should have beaten them a year ago and we better handle them this year. We are better.”
Bourbon Bowl added: “I think last year was the first year in the streak that we had a better team and still lost. (While an L is an L, fumbling on a chance to win in OT after gifting OT was a much different outcome than we had had for many years). I looked up some of the last really good UVA teams from 2004, 2005, and 2007 and it turns out Cow Town finished in the Top 10 AP all three of those years. Cow Town is indeed down and UVA’s first winning season in 7 hardly means we have “arrived,” but on paper we should once again look as good or better, at least going into the season. Importantly, we should look better in the trenches, where Cow Town has seemingly had a physical advantage for as long as I can remember.”
Mikeysurf shared this post: “Year-4 of Bronco era, his program isn’t being rebuilt like either of the aforementioned. Mendenhall/staff are methodically constructing a roster that far exceeds the signing day “sizzle” of the Groh/London eras. There is a clear purpose, balanced depth, smart use of transfers to fill short term gaps, and a player development coaching skill set that sets this staff apart from their predecessors.
Really like the measurables I’m hearing that came out of winter workouts heading into the spring and quality snaps many on both lines obtained in April. The team will have a six-week session heading into preseason camp. Looking forward to seeing the incoming class and all the transfers hit the field.
Bronco has invoked a much higher sense of urgency to the team following the spring that wasn’t as evident last season at this time. It seems to suggest Bronco knows this squad has the potential to have a very special season and he wants them to embrace that mindset for every workout this summer. This year’s team will be the most physical we’ve seen in a long time.
Barring a string of unforeseen injuries to key players, these kids can play with anyone on the schedule. It will start at Heinz Field, and see no reason UVA should not beat VT on Thanksgiving Friday at home. This defense is more than good enough to speak with such projected confidence in June!!”
And, finally, mgHoo provided some context on ending a long losing streak: “I was in school when the team broke the 29-year losing streak to Clemson. You could feel it getting closer. The previous two years before 1990 were very competitive games including a 10-7 loss. I feel the same way right now about the UVA-VT rivalry. Of course, I understand everyone who says “I’ll believe it when I see it”. I saw it in 1990 in Scott Stadium and it was awesome.”
Fan(s) Of The Week
The Hoos are No. 1!
Student Fan(s) Of The Week
And they’re coming for you!
Feature Photo Of The Week
Joey Blount is expected to be part of what should be a strong Virginia defense this fall.
Post Of The Week
The 75th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II occurred Thursday. Poster WanderingHoo shared this post on the basketball message board and it led to some great follow-up posts as well.
Question Of The Week
The Corner message board, our home for off-topic conversations, brings up a variety of topics on a daily basis. That was a good place to find this week’s “Question of the Week” and it led to a long discussion. Hoos1&1 asked: “Do you actually bake your potato, or take the microwave shortcut?” The responses are in this thread. How do you bake your potato? Join the conversation over there!